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Tom Helikar, UNL Department of Biochemistry

Multi-scale systems modeling for interrogation of immune system dynamics and identification of drug therapies

Date: Time: 4:00 pm–4:50 pm
Avery Hall Room: 115 Avery Hall
Contact: Petronela Radu, pradu@unl.edu
Biological processes across organisms are governed by complex, nonlinear network systems that span multiple layers of biological organization, from molecular to cellular to organ and organismal levels. Mathematical and computational modeling has become integral to better understanding the systems’ mechanism and dynamics under healthy as well as diseased conditions. In this presentation, discussed will be our efforts in studying the human immune system through the lens of multi-scale and multi-approach computational models. In particular, I will focus on our recent integrative models that revealed new insights into the differentiation capacity of CD4+ T cells by showing that T cell fate depends on both extracellular cytokine pattern as well as their dosage. Our modeling efforts also identified additional mixed T cell phenotypes and enabled us to characterize semi-quantitative cytokine patterns (“recipes”) needed to drive specific cell fate, as well as to identify metabolic targets for repurposable drugs for several autoimmune diseases. To exemplify our methods in the context of drug development, I will share our very recent results of new antiviral combinatorial treatments for influenza identified from a comprehensive model of host-pathogen interactions between influenza and airway epithelial cells.

Additional Public Info:
Hosted by Petronela Radu and Jim Lewis

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This event originated in Math Colloquia.